ESPN’s 2023 MLB lineup standings no tender with Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox offense enters the 2023 MLB season with unusually low expectations.

In each of the past seven seasons, the Red Sox have ranked in the top half of the league in runs scored. They finished ninth with 735 runs in 2022 despite finishing last in the American League East. But after the offseason departures of Xander Bogaerts and JD Martinez, as well as Trevor Story’s elbow injury, Boston may have to deal with a new reality.

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ESPN released its “far too early 2023 MLB roster rankings” on Friday, and the Red Sox not only do not rank in the top half of the league, but they rank 24th out of 30 MLB clubs.

Bradford Doolittle, the ESPN writer responsible for the rankings, shared his projection of the Red Sox roster followed by his explanation.

1. Masataka Yoshida

2. Enrique Hernandez

3. Raphael Devers

4. Justin Turner

5. Alex Verdugo

6. Adam Duvall

7. Triston Casas

8. Adalberto Mondesi

9. Reese McGuire

“It’s kind of a grim outlook for Boston’s offense, which is driven by a No. 28 BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play) ranking,” Doolittle wrote. “I’m not sure I like that conclusion, but with below average long ball potential and an average outlook in the patience category, an average outlook is really the best you can do from a forecast perspective. .

One of the areas of uncertainty is Yoshida, who projections see as a master of strike zone discipline but a bit behind when it comes to a BABIP you’d expect to lean towards. elite – if he’s real and translates his game to MLB. If he’s the player the Red Sox signed him, he’ll be BABIP’s elite.”

Yoshida is the biggest question mark for Boston heading into the 2023 campaign. The Japanese star outfielder is renowned for his elite stick-to-ball skills, though it’s hard to predict how his talents will translate to the leagues. majors. If he proves worthy of his $90 million contract, he will be a welcome addition to the top of a Red Sox roster that has been short of a proper first hitter.

Justin Turner is a solid replacement for Martinez. The addition of Adam Duvall adds some much-needed pop to the outfield. Rafael Devers is among the best hitters in the game. But those positives aren’t enough to offset the losses to Bogaerts and Story, even if Yoshida turns out to be everything Red Sox fans hope he will be.

Adding salt to the Red Sox’s wound is Doolittle’s pick for MLB’s top roster for 2023: the San Diego Padres. Bogaerts signed an 11-year, $280 million contract with the Padres in free agency.

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